Though men may have it easier than women in a lot of ways, I will give them this: showing emotions doesn’t come easily to them. Or, at least, even if they’re good at showing them, they aren’t always encouraged to do so. I’ll even admit that, when a man cries, I almost don’t know what to do. It’s just so foreign to me. I don’t know how to react. Am I supposed to hug him and comfort him? Like I would a female friend? Or is he so embarrassed to be crying that he’d rather I not acknowledge it with a hug?
One thing is for sure: if one of the strong men in my life cries, I definitely feel like something is very wrong. I don’t feel that way if a woman cries. Crying for us is like…exercise or meditation: just a healthy part of our routine. We cry freely and openly. It’s not the end of the world when we cry, and we aren’t embarrassed about it. It’s funny: for all the strides our society has made in terms of obliterating gender norms, it’s so clear to me that we still have a lot of work to do when I think of the idea of men and emotions. It’s really still considered “effeminate” if a straight man is openly emotional. If our society is at all uncomfortable with depression, we’re especially uncomfortable with it in men.
We can’t change that overnight, and since it is the case, any woman out there who loves a man knows the struggle of pulling emotions out of a male. Our partners are lucky in the respect that we just tell them I’m lonely or I feel helpless. We can let them know the issue so they can try to help us. That openness doesn’t go both ways. Women have to look for signs. If you partner is going through something rough, here are ways he shows you he’s emotionally struggling, without saying it.
He’s drinking more than usual
He isn’t just having one drink at dinner, and he isn’t even drinking socially. You find him drinking earlier than usual, or by himself, or in excess. He seems to be hiding his drinking from you—which is common when someone knows he’s drinking for the wrong reasons. He makes dark jokes about alcohol being his happy juice, or his best friend.